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Today’s Deep Space Extra - Explore Deep Space
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Today’s Deep Space Extra

July 27th, 2021

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Key elements for the Gateway External Robotic Interfaces to be designed by MDA, Ltd for the Canadarm3 program. One of Jupiter’s moons shows evidence of water vapor.

 

Human Space Exploration

MDA awarded next contract for flagship Canadarm3 program
Parabolic Arc (7/26): MDA, Ltd, will provide a key element of the robotic arm planned for the lunar orbiting, human-tended Gateway led by NASA. The company will design the Gateway External Robotics Interfaces (GERI) under a contract with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) valued at $28.1 million. U.S. Assembly of the Gateway is to begin in late 2024 to support efforts to establish a sustained human presence at the Moon by NASA and its international and commercial partners.

 

Space Science

NASA’S Hubble finds evidence of water vapor on one of Jupiter’s moons
Engadget.com (7/26): NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has discovered evidence of water vapor in the atmosphere of Jupiter’s Ganymede, the solar system’s largest moon. The discovery points to the possibility that the Jovian moon’s subsurface ocean, and possibly other similar moons of extra solar origin, could host habitable environments. Ganymede’s icy environment is known to host more water than all of the Earth’s oceans combined. The findings were published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

We found a new type of stellar explosion that could explain a 13-billion-year-old mystery of the Milky Way’s elements
Space.com (7/27): Until recently it was thought neutron-star mergers were the only way heavy elements (heavier than zinc) could be produced. These mergers involve the mashup of the remnants of two massive stars in a binary system. The discovery of an ancient star SMSS J2003-1142 in the Milky Way’s halo — which is the roughly spherical region that surrounds the galaxy — is providing the first evidence for another source for heavy elements, including uranium and possibly gold.

 

Other News

SpaceX or ULA to launch future Space Development Agency satellites
Coalition Member in the News – United Launch Alliance
SpaceNews.com (7/26): Launch services for Space Development Agency (SDA) satellites will be procured under the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program run by the U.S. Space Force, according to an agency announcement. SDA is a Defense Department agency that is building a large constellation of small communications satellites in low Earth orbit known as the Transport Layer. The agency previously awarded SpaceX a $150.4 million contract to launch its first 28 satellites in 2022 and 2023. But future launches will be procured from either United Launch Alliance (ULA) or SpaceX under the NSSL program.

China is working on a relay satellite to support lunar polar missions
SpaceNews.com (7/26): China is developing Chang’e 7, a lunar relay satellite to support future missions to the south pole of the Moon. Planned for around 2024, the mission’s objectives include a survey of the region to look for evidence of water ice using an orbiter, lander and rover plus a hopper developed to explore the shadowed regions of craters. The mission is part of a plan to join with Russia in establishing an International Lunar Research Station at the Moon.

Japan successfully tests rocket engine propelled by new technology
The Japan Times (7/27): Japan has successfully tested a potential new deep space rocket technology that burns methane and oxygen propellants with the launch of a suborbital rocket vehicle. A payload with rocket performance data was recovered. The rocket engine is 1/10th the size of a current technology and is designed to operate in space for extended periods.

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